Introduction to Video Player Reviews

As physical media is slowly replaced by streamed content, it’s important to understand just how you’ll get the very best video source material to that shiny new display. Whether it’s a television or a projector, you’ll need some way to feed it. In the past we had scores of DVD players to choose from but now Blu-ray is the gold standard when you’re talking about shiny discs. And Ultra HD Blu-ray is just starting to appear on the market and with it, expanded color gamuts like Rec.2020 and extended contrast from HDR encoding.

Audio formats are equally important. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D represent the latest technology that seeks to make movie sound more realistic and enveloping. Knowing how to get the most from them is a key factor in our reviews of players, AV receivers and surround processors.

For those looking to stream their content, we include coverage of media servers and streaming devices. A wealth of content can be found on the Internet and no technology has been left out here. HDR, Ultra HD and advanced audio codecs are just as prevalent as they are on Blu-ray disc.

Once you’ve decided on a new display, be it television or projector, we can show you the best sources to use for your ultimate home theater experience.

Review Categories

Video Players Reviews

Magnetar UDP800 Universal Disc Player Review

>A company new to our shores, Magnetar, is offering the UDP800 universal disc player which should delight fans of the now discontinued Oppo players and audio and videophiles with shelves full of completely obsolete music and video format discs like DVD-Audio or Kodak Picture CD. But besides playing the older formats, the UDP800 is up to date with 4K-UltraHD playback, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10+, and it can play media files with H265 and H264 support.

Zappiti One 4K HDR Media Player Review

Zappiti One 4K HDR Media Player Review

The Zappiti One 4K HDR media player is an innovative and feature-complete movie playback solution for the home. Think of the Zappiti One similar to a Sonos audio system but for video, with the ability to add devices in other rooms to view your videos...

Arcam UDP411 Universal Blu-ray Player Review

If you're looking for a high-end audio player that happens to play DVDs and Blu-rays, British boutique manufacturer Arcam has a new component for consideration, the UDP411 Universal Blu-ray Player. With premium Burr-Brown DACs and a balanced analog output, it might just be the ideal complement to an audiophile-grade system.

DIY Media Server and DVR Review

Chris Eberle's most recent Technical Media Server review, he explained many of the options available today for media servers, streamers, and NAS systems, including the option to build your own "home-brew" media server. In the current article I'm going to go into the details of one such system – mine! In addition to being a full-blown media server, this system is also my HD-DVR, and it is pretty easy to set up and operate. Moreover, this system allows me to record most high definition shows from my cable subscription totally DRM-free. I've done all this without a single piece of hardware from my cable provider. Want to learn how I did it? Read on!

Kaleidescape Cinema One Media Server

I am probably in the minority now. I am still a dinosaur that watches almost all of their movies off of physical discs instead of streaming, downloads, or Pay-Per-View. I do watch plenty of streaming content, as it is convenient, but I can't bring myself to pay for an inferior quality product that I download compared to buying a disc at the store. Now after spending a month with the Kaleidescape Cinema One Media Server, I can see a future, one that is very close, where I won't buy a disc again. I see a reality where convenience and quality are not mutually exclusive. What does the Kaleidescape do that has managed to change my mind about this? A lot.